This morning I ran in the Winter Flight 8K in Salisbury NC. This was my first race longer than 5K distance. Thankfully I’ve done more than 5 miles in my half marathon training, so the distance was not that daunting.
First, my only complaint for the race, the weather, cold and drizzly rain. Ugh. I was a drowned rat by the time I got home. But now on to the good part.
I was a little worried when we started, the Start line was an orange cone and a faintly spray painted line on the pavement, but those worries were quickly pushed away when I realized the course itself was in fact very well marked. We were running on roads that were still open to traffic, which can be nerve wracking but there was a line of cones separating our lane from the traffic lane and plenty of police at the intersections directing traffic.
The horn goes and the crowd rushes forward and we are off and I felt like I was actually going too fast and so tried to dial it back a little bit so I didn’t kill myself in the first half mile. I still ended up running my fastest mile yet, at 12:08, besting my time from New Years of 12:14. The first two miles had some nice downhill stretches which helped, then a loooooong uphill just past 2 miles with the water station at the top right around halfway. Somewhere between the water stop and mile 3 it started raining pretty good and rained the rest of the way. The finishing part with a lap around the stadium track was really cool, and although the “huge crowd” of 10 people was all there was, they did call out my name as I was rounding the bend and hitting the last 50 yards or so till the finish. They handed me a card that said #264 which I then gave to the ladies tallying the results, so I assume that’s my finishing position, but out of how many I have no clue. There weren’t too many people behind me that I could see but I wasn’t dead last.
I’m surprised that I was able to keep a steady pace the whole race, usually my average will look good and then my splits are all over the place, but this time I held it pretty steady. My splits were 12:08, 12:48, 12:48, 12:32, 12:34. Ironically the 12:34 for mile 5 was also my average pace for the whole run.
I also would have set a 5K PR for this race if it had stopped at 3.1. I don’t remember the exact time, but 37:45 at three miles, and 38-something at 3.11 would be a PR by several minutes and also a sub-40 minute 5K!!
Overall a good race besides the weather. And as always, my first race at that distance is an automatic PR! And with such an odd distance, will likely be my only 8K for a while.